Social Pulse, Week of 10-26

Every week I keep tabs on what’s trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. These are summed up in a round-up called Social Pulse. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Friday here.

How the Pandemic (and Social Media) is Impacting Our Friendships: When asked to think about the effects of COVID-19 on their friendships, 67% of people surveyed said their friendships have not been impacted. A third (33%) of respondents said they feel that COVID-19 has changed their relationships— but 47% of them said they now feel closer to their friends than before.For Snapchatters, this closeness is even more pronounced. Over half (54%) say they are significantly more likely to feel closer to their friends now than before COVID-19, compared to those who don’t use Snapchat (39%). However, nearly half of those surveyed agreed that they feel more distant from friends because they couldn’t spend time in-person (45%). Read the global report here.

Facebook Launches Cloud Gaming: Facebook is entering the cloud gaming market with a suite of free games you can play on Facebook’s mobile app or website, with titles like Asphalt 9: Legends, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, and Mobile Legends: Adventure. With this launch also comes “cloud playable ads” in the News Feed, which are “tiny demos will target people who rarely open the Gaming tab, or have forgotten that Facebook also offers playable games. Facebook says the ads will draw from a game’s native code and therefore be simple for developers to tweak.”

Stream of the Week: “Feels Good Man” is an amazing documentary about the creator of the Pepe the Frog meme and how it evolved from a benign image to a registered hate symbol. The film is “an exploration of the power of online imagery and the fascinating spin cycle of memes in a culture where ownership and meaning can be wrested away from creators.” Stream it free here. Highly recommended!

Satellite Wifi is Open for Beta: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service satellites are angering astronomers for blocking their views, adding to the space junk circling our planet, and it turns out, they aren’t even that fast. Yet. But the promise of bringing high speed internet to rural and unreachable communities continues to prove a lucrative proposition for space industrialists. If you live in one of those hard to connect places, you can sign up for the beta today, starting at $99/month with a $500 setup fee.

Business Reads of the Week: 7 Habits of Highly Social Chief Executives; Privacy Becomes An Imperative In A Year Of Transition; Cultivating Genius Through Contrarian Thinking

Patents of the Week: Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. Amazon has a patent where you can yell at your TV you want to buy whatever is on-screen. Google has one for typing in VR that resembles using drum sticks on a giant keyboard. Amazon invented delivery drones that transform shape while flying. Microsoft is looking for ways to make high-resolution GIFs that are still a small file size. Finally! Read more here.

Viral Video of the Week: If you can watch this TikTok and it doesn’t sound like your place of work (or you haven’t said some of these things yourself), you are a 👑

Quick hits:

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